By Keith Schildt, Southern California Slow Food Governor
Most of us know the history of Slow Food. It started as an act of resistance against the uniformity of industrialized food and its negative impact on our local food systems, local culture, and public health. Slow Food California continues the tradition of advocating for good, clean, and fair food, for all. We engage in state policy making for three primary reasons:
- To support those like-minded organizations who seek to move the needle of government policy towards a fairer, more sustainable, and healthier local food system (and one that tastes better too) across California and the country. We typically do this by signing onto or providing a letter of support to the organization stating our opinion and providing our Slow Food California logo for their use. For example, this past year we signaled our support for various pieces of state legislation ranging from increasing climate-friendly, plant-based foods in our local school systems (AB479) to clarifying the Micro-Enterprise Home Kitchen Operation standards (AB377).
- This type of support system builds a larger advocacy coalition than any single organization could muster on their own. We have teamed with organizations such as Friends of the Earth (AB479); California Climate and Ag Network (AB1377); Western States Council of the United Food and Commercial workers Union (AB1066); COOK Alliance (AB377); and many more.
- We also engage in advocacy to educate and activate our Slow Food Chapters and members across the state.
In the 2020, we will continue to work with our partners to ensure that Slow Food ideals are being expressed in legislation. Importantly, we are going to be augmenting that work with a new focus on implementation (typically at the county level) of past pieces of legislation. We want to ensure that legislation that improves local food systems is being implemented across the state in its intended way.